The first comes from Great Interactions that I see daily within my team; particularly the interactions between Nicky and Rachel. Nicky works alongside me and is our Dementia Project Officer, and really is an inspirational person. I have learnt so much from Nicky, and certainly more than I can squish into a paragraph within this blog. She is wonderful colleague, and is amazing with people who we support. She epitomises ‘The MacIntyre Way’ and I have watched her in practice many times using our 10 Facilitation Skills to truly connect with a person in a meaningful way. Everyone who knows Nicky, knows that she has a special bond with Rachel (our colleague and fabulous Dementia Project Assistant). All you have to do is look at the image, and it becomes clear how many Great Interactions the ladies share.

Another Great Interaction which I have seen that I wanted to share comes from Patsy Deacon (our Area Manager for Worcestershire and Herefordshire). I went to visit Abbey House, a service that Patsy oversees and where she used to be Front Line Manager. Patsy was interacting with a man who lives at Abbey House – the interaction cannot be put into words to do it justice, but I shall try. Patsy was using eye contact, touch, positioning, communication (all the facilitation skills really!); the warmth between them both was so clear to see during this interaction and a bond so pure, genuine and really lovely to watch.

The last interaction that I wanted to share with you for this blog comes from a Senior Support Worker called Brian, in one of our West Cheshire services. I went to speak with Brian about the Health Calendar and support around Baseline Health Assessments. We were at the dining table, talking all things health, and then the people who live at the house came home from their day out. Brian’s face lit up, and instantly the whole room filled with ‘hellos!’ and happy chatter. The people supported by Brian really seemed delighted to be back and eager to tell us about their day. Again – I saw the Facilitation Skills being used and there was a lot of positivity in the home because of the Great Interactions taking place.

I feel proud to work for MacIntyre and be able to witness these sorts of interactions when I visit teams across the country and wish I could keep sharing more wonderful stories.

Whilst writing this blog, I also reflected that the Facilitation Skills are not a skill that once you have learnt, you know it all – to continue on getting it right for the person who is supported, it takes constant reflection and each interaction needs careful consideration and a thoughtful approach to work for that person. What I like most about Great Interactions, is that you can reflect on your own practice. One approach might not work, but it is okay to change, to try new things, to take risks: all to benefit communication, interaction and supporting people to live a life that makes sense to them.

Sarah Ormston

Health Advisor and Dementia Project Manager